NBA Basketball History Timeline: Part 3

Catch some of the highlights of NBA basketball history as our NBA history timeline continues from the 1980s to the present.

Don't miss other exciting eras of NBA hoops!

NBA History

Dec 13, 1983

Triple-overtime game that set the record for the highest score by a winning and losing team. The Pistons defeated the Nuggets 186-184


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the leading scorer in NBA history by surpassing Wilt Chamberlain

Feb 4, 1984

David Stern became the 4th Commissioner of the NBA and helped expand the league from 23 to 30 teams

May 12, 1985


Draft lottery was introduced for all teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs

NBA expanded by adding new teams in Charlotte, NC and Miami, FL

Los Angeles Lakers repeated as NBA champions. No team has done that since 1969

Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever

Celebrate Your Hoops Heroes With REAL.BIG. NBA Legends Wall Graphics!

NBA Basketball History

Nov 2, 1990

Phoenix Suns played the Utah Jazz to tip off the NBA Japan Games. The NBA became the first major U.S. sports league to play a regular season game outside North America

Jan 6, 1995

Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Bullets to give Lenny Wilkens his 939th win. He surpassed Red Auerbach as the NBA's all-time winningest coach

Lenny Wilkens

Feb 1, 1995

John Stockton of the Utah Jazz became the NBA's all-time assist leader and surpassed Magic Johnson

John Stockton

Feb 20, 1995

John Stockton surpassed Maurice Cheeks as the NBA's all-time leader in steals

Apr 21, 1996

Chicago Bulls beat the Washington Bullets for their 72nd win to establish a new regular-season record of 72-10

Apr 24, 1996

Birth of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

WNBA logo

Oct 29, 1996

NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Their celebration included the selection of the top 50 NBA players and top 10 coaches and teams in NBA history

Feb 9, 1997

The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History were honored at the NBA All-Star Game

June 21, 1997

First game of the WNBA was played between the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks

NBA Basketball History

Nov 16, 2001

First game was played in the National Basketball Development League (NBDL)

NBA Development League


Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans

June 26, 2002

Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets became the first player from an international league to be chosen number one in the draft

Yao Ming

Oct 28, 2003

A record 73 international players from 34 countries and territories were listed on 26 of the 29 NBA team rosters


Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder

Find lots of interesting NBA basketball history stuff!

Check out more interesting facts and some cool and unusual NBA records.

It's amazing to see how basketball rules have changed throughout its history.

Did you know these 25 interesting facts about James Naismith, the inventor of basketball?

>> >> NBA Basketball History Timeline: Part 3